Today, theAsianparent pulls out the puzzling and downright pig-ugly from the Little Bag of Bad Parenting and shares what irks most people about strangers’ kids.
“Herro? I’m toothress and there’s no one at home!”
Apparently it’s a milestone set in…errr…stone, when kids say their first words. Nothing wrong with that. All parents look forward to it and follow, listen and grovel around on their knees with video camera in hand around the age of 24 months. But some parents take it to another level and insist on sharing it with everyone. They become proud flag bearers of the triumphant one-man army and come up with the most elaborate and pompous celebration that would make the celebration of Julius Caesar’s anointment to Emperer look mediocre.
Yes we’re referring to kids recording their parents’ message in the outgoing voicemail. It don’t matter what medium it is. Somewhere between listening to a toothless toddler mouthing big words such as ‘unavailable’ to trying your darn best to make out what is being said, you knew you’ve just wasted 20 seconds of your life.
Parents, if you’re guilty of this heinous crime, remember this. It’s not cute (emphasis on the ‘not’), it’s annoying and in all fair honesty quite stupid. Your kid is shouting into the phone and callers don’t like to be yelled at when the earpiece is only a short holler away from their eardrums.
Thank God we don’t have to press 3 to hear the message again…
You know, when I was younger, things were a lot easier. Kids could’ve sat in the back of a car without the need for seat belts and baby chairs, and my dad could’ve driven from Singapore to Kelantan without too much fuss. I could stick my head out, roll around in the backseat, reach out to the handbrake and attempt to pull it or even make funny faces at the car next to us. Things were easy, things were cheap and things were definitely small.
Strollers back then were just a thin, sturdy crude contraption made for regular transportation when kiddo has had too much that day. The same stroller I used for several years was passed down to my brother. Who outgrew it eventually. Best bang for buck if you consider the amount of mileage it had accrued.
These days, nary a day goes by when you don’t spot one of those behemoths decked out in all its glory. In it sits an oblivious child, completely surrounded by inches of thick armour. What used to be just a mosquito net has morphed into a poncho type screen. From far it looks like the family had just purchased an overpriced funky lawnmower (frills aplenty! *gasps*). Heck, if I didn’t know any better I’d have thought the Russians have churned out a variant of their very successful T-34 tank to counter the Germans back in the last Great War. It looks that bad ass.
But seriously, is there a need for all those bells and whistles? Built like a tank, looks like a lawnmower and weighs a bitch. Unfortunately it doesn’t get any better for parents. These babies are hungry space eaters. Plonk one of these 4WDs into your boot and you can kiss your grocery shopping goodbye.
And don’t even get me started on the price. Back in the good old days of sturdy craftsmanship, we could have gotten away with just about anything. “It rolls and ferries my kid in one piece? Great, I’ll have one stroller thanks. And keep the change while you’re at it!” Look what happened to most of us anyway. We grew older and started families. Now if only we had kept our strollers since yesteryears.
Charades With An Infant
You’ve seen it before in public and it’s much too common to be relegated as a case of knocking back a couple of cold ones. There you are, sitting in the food court with your mates, minding your own business. You’re only half aware of the couple with the toddler at the next table.
Then it happens. The kiddo starts crying, and Eager Mommy attempts to placate kiddo with a series of comical gestures that mimic antics and gesticulations honed by master miming artists. It’s a throwback to the dark days of Win, Lose or Draw when civilised human beings decked out in proper attire tried to outdo their Neanderthal cousins with comical movements, imaginary drawings and confounding guesswork. Comedy never had it so good.
Sign language is all good. When a child reaches a stage of life where advanced communication is needed due to physical impairment or is interested in learning it as a craft, no dissuading is needed. After all, communication is communication.
Yet most parents fail to understand the three fundamental points of understanding a baby. Eat, Sleep and Poop. Yes it’s not so much about the understanding bit; it’s all about being understood.
In fact, it’s this easy. It’s all about the three-step routine.
Baby is hungry and cries. Don’t sign and perform guesswork. Check nappy and comfort Baby.
Baby is tired and cries. Don’t sign and perform guesswork. Check nappy and comfort Baby.
Baby has pooped in the nappy and cries. Don’t sign and perform guesswork. Check nappy and comfort Baby.
There you go. Unless you reckon you’ve got a shot at public adulation ‘coz your baby talks like Bruce Willis, save yourself the humiliation and keep the sign language under lock and key. Or just use it at home.